Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. May 05, 2020

In This Issue

How the COVID-19 Quarantine Is Helping My Son With Autism Develop Life Skills

Documenting the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities in congregate settings

Autistic people may have trouble tuning out distractions

Autistic children's emotional problems may persist into young adulthood

County of San Diego: Order of the Health Officer and Emergency Regulations

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

We believe that everyone should be able to be lifelong learners to develop their skills and interests!

Support & Information for Adults: SD Regional Center Paid Internship Program

Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together

Webinar on Special Education Advocacy & Distance Learning - May 6th

ATPF Typers Zoom Meet-Up - May 6th!!!

ATPF Parent Advocacy Training Workshop led by Matthew Storey

May 6th - Zoom Presentation on Updates to SSI, SSDI and IHSS

Home Learning Resources for Kids with Special Needs

Autism Science Foundation & COVID-19 Webinar Series

Greatest Hits 2020 Art Contest

Tuesday, May 5 - #GivingTuesday - Help the Special Needs Resource Foundation!



  • How the COVID-19 Quarantine Is Helping My Son With Autism Develop Life Skills
  • When the quarantine first started, I spent the first week trying to replicate what my son Dominic, who is on the autism spectrum, did at school on a daily basis. Unfortunately, he had a seizure that Friday, March 20. The next week, I let him do whatever he wanted because I had a huge case of mom "guilt" that I had caused it somehow. Secretly, in the back of my mind, I was hoping the quarantine would last two weeks and things could go back to the way they were. As we all know, that hasn't happened yet.

    In the third week, I started using a whiteboard for Dominic's detailed schedule as well as having him write his daily chores in a spiral notebook. Dominic has had a handful of chores for well over a year now (a fabulous idea from his private speech therapist). I began to notice that I was starting to give him additional chores, many of them practical life skills he will be able to carry with him throughout his life, whether he always lives with us or not. Some of his new chores include making his own lunch (he has been making his own breakfast for several years) and bringing in the trash can from the curb after the garbage guys come through. I gladly let him take that one over from me! Read on...

  • Documenting the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities in congregate settings
  • COVID-19 is spreading uncontrolled through institutions, and people with disabilities are paying the price. Most people with disabilities in congregate settings (such as nursing homes, institutions, group homes and psychiatric hospitals) are not being offered personal protective equipment, or any way to protect themselves from getting sick. Their staff may not have protective equipment either. With no visitors, many people in institutions have no way to report abuse and neglect. And at a time when sanitation is more critical than ever, congregate settings are no longer being inspected to ensure that staff are implementing infection control measures such as hand-washing.

    It's critical that we understand how many people we are losing as COVID-19 spreads through institutions - but some states aren't reporting numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths in congregate settings, and the federal government isn't keeping track. The COVID-19 case tracker combines information from news articles and state & local government reports, to give us the most complete picture possible. Read on...

  • Autistic people may have trouble tuning out distractions
  • Autistic people have atypical activity in a part of the brain that regulates attention, according to a new study1. The researchers measured pupil responses as a proxy for brain activity in a brain region known as the locus ceruleus.

    Located in the brain stem, the region plays a key role in modulating activity throughout the brain, in part by controlling attention. It can broaden and narrow pupils to adjust how much visual information a person receives, for example.

    Because of this, researchers can use pupil size to infer activity in the region and gauge a person's focus on a task; a wider pupil indicates increased focus. Read on...

  • Autistic children's emotional problems may persist into young adulthood
  • A study that followed 126 autistic people in England from their preteen years to age 23 found little improvement in their behavioral and emotional problems1.

    Children with autism are more likely than their neurotypical peers to have emotional and behavioral problems. Previous studies have estimated that up to 84 percent of these children are anxious, and up to 47 percent have depression. Anywhere from 30 to 80 percent of children with autism also meet the criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Read on...

  • County of San Diego: Order of the Health Officer and Emergency Regulations
  • All persons two year old or older who are present in the county shall have possession o f a face covering described in California Department of Public Health Face Covering Guidance issued on April 1, 2020, (available at: Coverings-Guidance.aspx ), when they leave their home or place of residence and shall wear the face covering whenever they are in a business or within six feet of another person who is not a member of their family or household. Persons with a medical or mental health condition, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering shall be exempt from this requirement.
    Click here to see the whole letter from Dr. Wooten.

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • Do you receive SSI? Don't miss out on food benefits!
    Beginning June 2019, many Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will become eligible for CalFresh Food Benefits.

    There is NO CHANGE or reduction to SSI/SSP amounts. For more information Click, Call or Come in to your county office to apply and find out more.

    Click to apply online
    Call 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD)
    Come in/find an office at

    San Diego Futures - I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of this organization because it can be a helpful resource to families in need of computers and other technology who may not have the resources they need to secure technology for their homes. If anyone needs a laptop or desktop and cannot afford one, please consider reaching out to this group. Desktops and laptops are available at VERY low prices for eligible families.

    Even though the doctor SSI sent us to for eligibility exam commented at the end of the exam that my 10 year old grandson would qualify based on the exam and his diagnosis of autism, my daughter received letter of denial. I think we may be beyond the 60 days to appeal. Looking for help to get thru the appeal process.
    Mary Ann Walker
    [email protected]

    If you have a question or request for this newsletter group, please send your email request to [email protected]. People who can help you will email you directly with their responses.

  • We believe that everyone should be able to be lifelong learners to develop their skills and interests!
  • BEACONS, Inc. is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation founded in 2018 to provide vocational, recreational, and social activities as well as services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Beacons, Inc. offers postsecondary workforce workshops that are progress monitored, structured, low ratio and accessible to those in need of smaller settings, more individualized pacing, and assistive technology. We create pathways and outcomes that improve social connections, community engagement and access to employment.

    Beacons North County
    6150 Yarrow Drive, Suite E
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    General: [email protected]
    Club Beacons: [email protected]
    Pathfinder Workshops: [email protected]
    Tailored Day: [email protected]

  • Support & Information for Adults: SD Regional Center Paid Internship Program
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2020
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Autism Society San Diego is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: SD Regional Center Paid Internship Program

    Join Zoom Meeting Click here!!!

  • Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together
  • AEFCT provides high quality services that are structured, comprehensive, and individualized. Our mission is to provide intervention to children with autism, putting the needs of each child first so that they are met fairly and appropriately. We use developmentally sound strategies supported by empirical evidence, combined with a team approach that involves family participation. Autism affects the entire family unit, and we recognize that parent education and participation are essential to achieve success.

    4669 Murphy Canyon Rd.
    Suite 212, San Diego, CA 92123

  • Webinar on Special Education Advocacy & Distance Learning - May 6th
  • Join us this coming Wednesday evening, at 7pm, to discuss and answer questions relating to the role of advocacy in special education during school closures and distance learning programs!

    You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
    When: May 6, 2020 07:00 PM
    Topic: Special education advocacy and distance learnings.

    Who will be on the panel!
    Allan Roth
    April Villafana
    Ashley Parton
    Bertha Taylor
    Cynthia Norall
    Jeni Rayle
    Kristi Kelly

    Register in advance for this webinar:

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

  • ATPF Typers Zoom Meet-Up - May 6th!!!
  • Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

    RSVP here:

    Meet on Zoom with different AAC Typer friends across the country, share your favorite books, funny quotes or memes, and enjoy the feeling of community through alternative communication!

    Led by ATPF Mom Shelly Lana and her son Otto.
    All kids/teens who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices are welcome! All participants who RSVP will receive a reminder email/text with all details on how to join the Zoom meeting.

    Questions? Contact Shelly Lana at 858-361-0098

  • ATPF Parent Advocacy Training Workshop led by Matthew Storey
  • Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 6 PM - 7 PM

    You won't want to miss our first Parent Advocacy Training Workshop led by Matthew Storey, Partner at the Law Offices of Schwartz & Storey! He will be giving a presentation on the intersection of COVID-19 and Special Education: what has happened, how it has changed special education, and how to work towards making it a positive experience for your child.

    RSVP today:
    Questions? Contact [email protected]

  • May 6th - Zoom Presentation on Updates to SSI, SSDI and IHSS
  • Presentation next week by Disability Rights California and California State Council on Developmental Disabilities for updates on IHSS, Medi Cal SSI and SSDI due to Covid 19.

  • Home Learning Resources for Kids with Special Needs
  • Families are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of shelter-in-place guidelines. As teachers rally to support caregivers for in-home learning, parents also face the task of setting up homes and schedules to manage students' educational needs. This can be much more complicated when a child has an Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. School districts are still in the process of learning how these services will be delivered in the home setting, so students may not currently be receiving related services: speech, OT, PT and psychological supports.

    The Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego is here to help. Below are resources organized by need. Click here for all the info!!!

  • Autism Science Foundation & COVID-19 Webinar Series
  • The Autism Science Foundation's mission is to support autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

    Click here to view their past and upcoming webinars!!!

  • Greatest Hits 2020 Art Contest
  • Help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of Banding Together! We have rescheduled the Diamond Edition of our Greatest Hits benefit concert for this fall. Stay tuned for the date and more details. In the meantime...

    We have a great way for all our budding artists to use their creative brains while at home: a T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST! The winning submission will have their artwork featured on the Greatest Hits 10th Anniversary shirts along with cash and other prizes.

    We are also still looking for sponsors to help us pull off our best event yet! Contact us to find out how to expose your company or name to this captive audience and other ways to support Banding Together's mission!

  • Tuesday, May 5 - #GivingTuesday - Help the Special Needs Resource Foundation!
  • During these times of uncertainty, the Special Needs Resource Foundation has continued with our mission of helping parents and advocates in the special needs community overcome challenges of the family's journey by bringing together people, information and resources. Every day we continue to serve families with special needs. Each gift made on Tuesday, May 5, will help to sustain our basic operating costs so we can continue to make an impact in the community.

    Please help us continue our journey. Give to the Special Needs Resource Foundation on May 5.

  • ASD Mornings at the NAT

  • The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) is pleased to offer a program for the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community: a once-a-month ASD Morning in which the Museum opens early for adults and children on the autism spectrum and their families, friends, and caregivers. This innovative program encourages individuals to explore, play, and discover the treasures The Nat has to offer in an environment that is comfortable for them.

    ASD Mornings take place the second Sunday of every month. The Museum will open at 9 AM*, one hour earlier than its standard 10 AM opening time, providing a quiet and less-crowded environment for visitors to explore the Museum's galleries at their own pace. In addition, on ASD Mornings the Museum will offer a "quiet room" from 9 AM to noon if visitors need a quiet space to decompress or desensitize. General admission rates apply during ASD Mornings.

  • Autism Accessibility Morning at the Fleet!

  • The third Saturday of every month, Fleet invites the Autism Spectrum Community to enjoy our museum through this special opportunity. Adults and families with children with autism can enjoy the Fleet's exhibit galleries in a quieter setting, an hour before regular open hours to the general public and with access to a special cool-off space. Visitors are welcome to stay and enjoy the museum all day. Admission includes a special IMAX film screening at 10 a.m. with the house lights on and a lower soundtrack volume.

    For more information, visit

  • Everyone Deserves a Loving Home

  • Contact Lynn Scott for more information 619-954-7847 or [email protected].

  • Webinar: Learn About RDI with Kiki Haddad!

  • For questions please email [email protected] or call 858-689-2027

  • Webinar: Learn About RDI with Brooke Wagner

  • For questions please email [email protected] or call 858-689-2027

  • Toddler MRI Study at SDSU

  • Our Center's research arm, the Brain Development Imaging Labs, is conducting a fascinating study looking at how young children's brains change as they get older. We are looking for kids (15 months to 5 years old) who are on the spectrum or who are suspected to have autism. Participants get a free assessment (plus assessment summary), free MRI scan, $150, AND a free picture of their brain! For more info or to sign up, please call us at 619-594-2500 or email us at [email protected]. Thank you!

  • Older Adults with Autism (40-75 yrs old) Needed for Study

  • We are looking for older adults with autism (40-75 yrs old) to be in our brain imaging study! Anyone with a diagnosis or suspects that she or he has autism is invited to reach out to us. Participants receive a free assessment, free MRI brain scan, and around $150! If you know anyone who might be interested in this, please have them email [email protected] or call us at 619-594-0176. Thank you!

  • Participate in a Study at Research on Autism and Development Laboratory at UCSD
  • SJSU Research Study Participants Needed

  • My research team and I are writing to let you know of an exciting opportunity for your online community to participate in a research study. The research study is looking at friendship quality, social participation, and social networks in young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We would like to understand the causes and impacts of social deficits in order to contribute to the development of social skills training programs for use with adolescents and young adults. This is our capstone project to partially fulfil our Master's degree, and the Principal Investigator (PI) of the study is Dr. Megan Chang at San Jose State University.

    We are recruiting individuals diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 18-35 who have adequate conversational skills. If you believe that your community may be interested in participating in this study or if you would like additional information, please contact myself at [email protected]. By volunteering, participants may benefit through reflection and may develop increased self-awareness.

  • SDSU Center for Autism Brain Study Needs Volunteers!

  • The SDSU Center for Autism is conducting a behavioral and brain imaging study with youth (7-21 years old) on the spectrum. We are trying to understand how the brain changes as children become young adults. Participants get a free assessment, a free MRI scan, about $150, and a free picture of their brain! If you are interested, call us at 619-594-0176, or email us at [email protected]. Thank you!

  • Volunteers Needed for Study!!!

  • My name is Thanh Nguyen and I am an occupational therapy student at San Jose State University. My group is conducting a cross-cultural (U.S. vs Taiwan) study, examining the differences in occupational participation of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at home, school and in the community. We are inviting participants who are parents or legal guardians of children with ASD, 9-12 years of age, in the United States to answer an anonymous online survey that takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. I would greatly appreciate if you can share this attached flyer in your newsletter so that anyone who is interested in participating in the study can help us fill out the survey.

    Here is the link to the survey:
    Potential participants can also access the survey by scanning the QR code on the flyer.

  • Autism Resources Research

  • For more info please contact Elizabeth Sanchez Arvizu, M.A. at [email protected] or (619) 356-1438.

    Survey here:

  • Autism Research Survey
  • Autism Research Survey - This research survey is conducted through Point Loma Nazarene University. Please share with both autistic adults over 18 years old and parents of children with autism, autistic parents with autistic children, verbal and nonverbal. #Autistic, Autism parents, Autism dad, Autism mom. The survey will take 10-20 minutes & your participation will affect the lives of children in many countries.

    The research is to understand the trajectories in the lives of individuals who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (formerly known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder). The purpose of this study is to determine the current status of those individuals in order to better inform current treatment practices and create recommendations for the treatments and therapies that will be used for the next generation of kids with autism.

    Please fill out our Autism Research survey and PLEASE SHARE with anyone who you know/think may be able to participate and contribute. Please make sure to make a recommendation at the end.

    *** Apologies to those who object to the term "person with autism" as opposed to an autistic person. All questions had to be approved by the IRB and as such had to follow medical guidelines.

    To participate click link


    I never endorse anyone or anything. Opinions expressed in what I send out, may not be shared by me. Everything is for informational purposes only.
    People who "advertise" through this newsletter have never been checked out by me. Same goes for the "Sponsors". This includes professionals and even people who are interested in babysitting, etc. So, please take the time to thoroughly check out anyone and everyone who will be working with or caring for your child/adult. We are all sadly aware, through news stories and word of mouth, of people who prey upon special needs children and adults because of their extra vulnerability.

    Valerie Dodd-Saraf
    President, Foggy Coast Ventures, Inc.